Appalachian State, Western Carolina Host Big Southern Conference Games Saturday

John Hooper@soconjohn22Correspondent IIJanuary 14, 2012

Appalachian State, Western Carolina Host Big Southern Conference Games Saturday

0 of 4

    Both Western Carolina and Appalachian State will host big Southern Conference games on Saturday, on an afternoon with a full slate around the league.

    The Mountaineers look to remain in the thick of the early North Division race, as Appalachian State hosts Davidson in a key inter-divisional clash on Saturday afternoon. The Davidson-Appalachian State rivalry is among the most heated in the Southern Conference. The Mountaineers have won three straight against the Wildcats.

    Davidson hasn't beaten Appalachian State since someone named Stephen Curry suited up for the Wildcats.

    Meanwhile, Western Carolina will look for its sixth straight win against Furman when the Paladins come calling at the Ramsey Center on Saturday afternoon. The Paladins come in reeling a bit, having lost five of their last six games, including a 56-50 setback just up the road at Appalachian State on Thursday night. Furman is just 2-7 away from Timmons Arena this season.

    Other matchups on Saturday include Chattanooga at Samford (3 p.m. EST), Elon at College of Charleston (4 p.m.), UNC-Greensboro at the Citadel (7 p.m.) and Georgia Southern at Wofford (7 p.m.). Check back for updates throughout the afternoon.

    Following is a look at the two featured games.

Appalachian State and Davidson Set for Saturday Matinee at the Holmes Dome

1 of 4

    Davidson (11-4, 5-0 SoCon) at Appalachian State (7-8, 3-2 SoCon), 2 p.m.

    When Davidson and Appalachian State get together on the hardwood, it's going to be a heated, physical contest. The two rivals always seem to leave everything on the floor, and when the Wildcats roll into Boone, N.C., it always seems to bring the best out of the football-first fans of the Black and Gold. 

    The atmosphere on Saturday afternoon inside the Holmes Convocation Center will probably be as close as it will get to how it is on fall Saturdays just up Stadium Drive to Kidd Brewer Stadium for football games in terms of noise, relatively speaking.

    The noise level should be good and the two teams on display have a lot to offer, as both teams enter this early-season inter-divisional clash fighting atop their respective divisions in the Southern Conference.

    ASU comes into the contest having won three of its last four since the flip of the calendar, while the Wildcats have won five of their last six, including four straight, entering Saturday afternoon's showdown between the two league rivals. Appalachian State has taken the last three games in the series between the two teams, including a 74-66 win last season.

    Saturday's meeting will mark the 35th all-time meeting between the two clubs, with Davidson holding a narrow 19-15 all-time series edge.

    Davidson got an 88-67 win over Western Carolina on Thursday night to help out Appalachian State's cause in the North Division race. Davidson had 18 assists to only four turnovers in the win over the Catamounts. Teams aren't going to lose many games when that is the case. Meanwhile, Appalachian State was able to grind out a 56-50 win over Furman at the Holmes Center.

    Appalachian State needs to treat this game as a proving ground, and this game becomes critical from a confidence standpoint if the Mountaineers want to be a major player in the league race this winter.

    The Wildcats have used the same intangibles to get victories this season as they did during the Stephen Curry era. It has taken a couple of years to fully reload to where it is a league title contender again. After all, the Wildcats bowed out in the opening round of the league tournament each of the past two seasons.

    The Wildcats have used the same starting five virtually all season and Saturday afternoon's clash with Appalachian State should not offer a change in that regard. The Wildcats have the best frontcourt tandem in the Southern Conference coming into Saturday, as both Jake Cohen (13.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG) and D'emon Brooks (15.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG) continue to be the go-to-players in the paint for Davidson.  

    Cohen, who needed 13 points to reach the 1,000-point milestone coming into Thursday night's contest, so he proceeded to go out and score the first the first 13 points of the game en route to his 26-point effort, building nicely off his Southern Conference Player of the Week citation of last week.

    Cohen is connecting on 48.9 percent from the field for the season, ranking 12th in the Southern Conference coming into Saturday afternoon's clash with Appalachian State. As a defensive presence this season, Cohen ranks third in the Southern Conference in blocked shots this season.

    Brooks has led the Wildcats in scoring this season, and has come into his own in his second season in the program. Brooks is one of the better athletes in the league, and though a little undersized, Brooks plays much bigger than his 6-5 frame because of that athleticism and power which he possesses.

    He comes into Saturday's clash having put forth a solid effort against Western Carolina on Thursday, however, did struggle shooting the basketball just a bit, going just two-for-11 from the field and finishing well below his average with only eight points on the evening. Brooks tallied eight points on three-for-six shooting from the field in Davidson's 74-66 loss to Appalachian State last season at Belk Arena.

    Davidson's trio of guards might also be the league's best conglomeration of talent, at least in the starting rotation, that the Southern Conference has to offer in 2011-12. The anchor of that talented three-headed monster is junior point guard Nik Cochran (11.9 PPG, 3.2 APG).

    It took Cochran a couple of years to find his footing, but now that he has, he's ready to place his name alongside former greats Chris Alpert, Ali Ton and most recently, Jason Richards, among an elite class of point guards that have suited up for the Red and Black under veteran head coach Bob McKillop.

    Cochran enters Saturday afternoon's contest tied for eighth in the league in assists-per-game, averaging 3.2 helpers per outing. Cochran is also Davidson's best perimeter shooter, knocking his triples down at a 45.1 percent clip (22-of-53). His 22 threes this season rank second on the team.

    Rounding out the starters in the Davidson backcourt on Saturday afternoon will be wing guards J.P. Kuhlman (12.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG) and Tom Droney (4.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG). Kuhlman, a preseason All-Southern Conference selection, currently ranks third on the team in scoring and maybe the team's top on-the-ball defender.

    Kuhlman enters the contest with a team-leading 16 steals this season, and is coming off a 12-point effort in the win over the Catamounts last time out.

    Droney rounds out the starting five for McKillop, and like his backcourt teammate Kuhlman, plies his trade as one of the team's top defenders. In stature and tenacity, Droney resembles former Wildcats defensive bastion and all-around scrapper Max Paulus-Gosselin.

    McKillop knows he needs players like Droney if the realization of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years is to become a reality.      

    Davidson has some reliable role players that add solid depth off the bench, such as Clint Mann (5.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG), Chris Czerapowicz (9.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG) and Tyler Kalinoski (5.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG). Mann has good size and strength, and the former Iowa State Cyclone has provided tremendous court savvy and effort off the bench all season for the Wildcats.

    Czerapowicz has settled into more of producer in terms of scoring this season, as opposed to his inconsistencies in that department in his rookie season with Davidson last year. His 29 three-point field goals lead the team, and he is one of the deadliest long-range shooters in the league.  

    Kalinoski adds even more depth to an already talented backcourt, and the native of Overland Park, Ks., has provided a solid compliment to both Kuhlman and Droney at wing guard coming off the Davidson bench this season.

    Kalinoski has reached double figures four times this season, with his latest of those double-figure efforts coming in last week's 29-point rout of UNC-Greensboro, as he posted 11 points in that win. He scored a career-high 16 points in the season-opening win over Guilford. 

    As a team, Davidson comes in leading the Southern Conference in scoring offense (79.3 PPG), while ranking 10th in the Southern Conference in scoring defense (70.3 PPG). Davidson is connecting on 44.5 percent of its shots from the field to rank third in the league in shooting percentage, while shooting 33.2 percent from three-point range to rank third in the league in three-point field goal percentage.

    Defensively, Davidson is allowing teams to shoot 44.6 percent from the field to rank seventh in the league in field goal percentage defense. Finally, the Wildcats' opponents are connecting on 33.2 percent from three this season, ranking Davidson sixth in three-point field goal percentage defense.

    Appalachian State comes into Saturday afternoon's matinee being led by Omar Carter (13.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) and Jamaal Trice (10.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG), and they are the lone two players averaging in double figures this season for the Black and Gold. Carter was the preseason league player of the year, but struggled a bit in his last outing, as he posted just five points in the 56-50 win over Furman.

    Carter had a big outing against Davidson last season in leading the Mountaineers to a 74-66 win over the Wildcats. It was Carter that posted 25 points on nine-of-17 shooting from the field, one-for-three from three-point range, and six-of-nine from the charity stripe.

    It was one of Carter's signature performances in his two seasons in a Mountaineer uniform. Carter is versatile in that he can either play in the backcourt or in the front court for the Mountaineers.

    It was Trice's lay-up with 35 seconds remaining on Thursday night that allowed Appalachian State to take a two-possession lead late and ultimately proved to be the game-winning basket in the 56-50 win over Furman. He finished on the cusp of double figures on Thursday night, finishing with nine points in the six-point win over the Paladins.

    Trice, a 6-6 guard from Los Angeles, posted his best performance of the campaign against East Carolina in an Appalachian State loss, as he scored a career-high 27 points.

    Others expected to start in the backcourt on Saturday afternoon against the Wildcats will be point guard Mike Neal (6.2 PPG, 2.2 PPG, 42 assists) and wing guard Tab Hamilton (8.2 PPG, 1.7 RPG). Neal will run the point on Saturday afternoon against the Wildcats, and he has adjusted nicely since becoming head coach Jason Capel's starting point guard several games ago.

    Neal is coming off a strong performance in the win over Furman the last time out, as he posted a team-leading 15 points, having connected on five-of-nine shots from the field, while going two-for-four from three-point range and grabbing five boards. Neal's 15 points against the Paladins matched a career-high previously established last month in a game at North Carolina.

    Neal also got it done on the defensive end for the Mountaineers against the Paladins, recording three thefts in the contest.

    Hamilton has proven to be one of team's top perimeter shooters as of late, and is connecting on 40.0 percent (20-for-50) of his downtown shot attempts this season. Hamilton saw his scoring cool off a bit against the Paladins, after posting a game-high 22 points in the 65-63 loss at Chattanooga, as he posted only three points in the victory.

    Rounding out the expected starting five for the Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon will be senior center Andre Williamson (9.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG), who might be the team's MVP to this point in the 2011-12 campaign.

    Williamson's athleticism has once again proven to be a vital asset to Capel's club this season, as he enters Saturday's proceedings leading the Southern Conference in blocks (1.6 BPG, 24 blocks).

    Williamson garnered Southern Conference Player of the Week honors last week, and he will matchup with the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week, Jake Cohen, in a battle between two of the league's top centers.

    This, in my opinion, will be one of the keys to the matchup. Williamson is going to be asked to work a little harder than he normally is, as a result of Cohen's ability to step out and shoot the three.

    Appalachian State has a relatively deep bench, although the Mountaineers have been made a little thinner with a suspension to Ike Butts (7.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG) and with Rodney Milum (9.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG) having returned home to deal with family issues. Still, there is depth and one of the unsung heroes of the 2011-12 season for Appalachian State has been Nathan Healy (3.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG).

    With his 12 points in the win over Furman, Healy, a player noted more for his hustle and defense than his scoring, has posted double figure scoring efforts in two of his last three outings.

    Joining Healy off the bench will be reserve point guards G.J. Vilarino (3.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG) and Mitch Woods (1.2 PPG, 0.9 RPG), along with Brian Okam (0.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG), who provides needed support in the post.  

    As a team, Appalachian State enters Saturday's matinee averaging 66.5 points per game to rank seventh in the league in scoring offense. The Black and Gold has surrendered 69.0 points per game to opponents this season to rank sixth in scoring defense.

    The Mountaineers are connecting on 43.6 percent of their shots from the field this season to rank sixth in team field goal percentage, while shooting the ball at a 36.1 percent clip from three to rank second in the Southern Conference.

    The Mountaineers are allowing opponents to shoot 43.6 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three on the season to rank, fifth and fourth in the league, respectively, in the two aforementioned defensive categories.

    Final Score Prediction: Appalachian State 80, Davidson 77 (Upset Special)

Furman Continues Its Road Trip in NC Mountains on Saturday

2 of 4

    Furman (7-9, 1-4 SoCon) at Western Carolina (8-9, 3-2), 2 p.m.


    Furman and Western Carolina face off in a battle of purple on Saturday afternoon at the Ramsey Center in a tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. The Catamounts have been nearly impossible to beat inside the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center over the past three seasons, having won 42 of their past 48 games on the home hardwood.

    It's safe to say that the two-time defending North Division champions have been about as tough to beat on its home floor as Appalachian State has been to beat on the home gridiron over the past three campaigns. 

    Both Western and Furman are coming off losses, with the Catamounts having dropped an 88-67 contest at Davidson on Thursday night, while Furman dropped a 56-50 decision at Appalachian State.

    The Paladins traveled to the inhospitable surroundings of the Ramsey Center last season, dropping a 65-41 contest in what was one of the rare off-nights for the Paladins during their 22-win campaign of 2010-11. The 41-point scored by Furman last season were the least amount of points scored by a Southern Conference opponent in the facility since it opened in the 1986-87 season. 

    When the two square off on Saturday afternoon, the Catamounts will be in search of their sixth straight victory over the Paladins, as well as their fifth consecutive win over the Paladins at home. Furman and Western will be meeting for the 61st time on the hardwood, with the Paladins holding a 35-25 all-time series edge. Furman comes in having lost six of its last seven games.

    Western Carolina is once again a guard-oriented club, led by veteran guard Harouna Mutombo (14.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG). Mutombo is one of the strongest guards in the league and is also one of the league's premier rebounding guards. He is also excellent on the defensive end of the floor, and has a team-best 26 steals this season.

    Mutombo enjoyed his best game of the season in the win over Kent State, has he scored 21 points in the narrow loss. Mutombo is coming off a 17-point performance in the loss to Davidson, and has scored in double figures in each of the past two games.

    Mutombo will be joined in the Western Carolina backcourt by Brandon Boggs (10.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG) and Trey Sumler (11.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG). Boggs is the team's best athlete and another great defender. Boggs is similar in style of play to former Alabama Crimson Tide standout and NBA star Robert Horry.

    Boggs, though, is not quite the perimeter threat that Horry was in his day, but is every bit the tenacious defender. 

    Sumler is maybe the quickest player in the backcourt for the Catamounts, and has picked right up where he left off after a sensational freshman season in Cullowhee. The sophomore recorded his first-career double-double in a win over Presbyterian back in November, recording 17 points and 10 boards.

    Sumler, who shot the ball well over 40 percent from long range last season, has struggled a bit shooting the ball from deep this season. Through the first 17 games this season, Sumler has connected on just 31 percent (18-of-58) from deep this season.

    Set to start in the front court on Saturday will be Tawaski King (5.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG) and Preston Ross (4.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG). King and Ross are solid, physical presences in the paint, and have done a nice job of helping compensate for the loss of all-conference post Richie Gordon.

    Ross is a bit undersized for the 4, but he is a powerful, athletic presence underneath and actually plays bigger than he is in the post. Ross is shooting a team-best 46.4 percent from the field this season. King enjoyed his best performance of the season in the win over Presbyterian, as he posted 16 points and five boards.

    The top players coming off the bench for the Catamounts this season have been sharp-shooting point guard Keaton Cole (11.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG) in the backcourt, while Ishmael Hollis (3.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG) and Kenneth Hall (1.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG) add depth in the front court.

    Cole leads the Southern Conference in three-point field goals made, as he has connected 52 triples so far this season. Cole connected on a career-high six treys in back-to-back games against Chattanooga and Wofford. On the season, Cole is connecting on 42.6 percent from three-point range.

    As a team, the Catamounts come into the contest averaging 66.2 points per game to rank eighth in the Southern Conference in scoring offense, while Western Carolina is surrendering 69.6 points per game to rank seventh in the Southern Conference in scoring defense.

    Western Carolina is shooting 41.2 percent from the field this season to rank eighth in the Southern Conference in shooting percentage, while connecting on 33.7 percent from three to rank eighth in that category. Opponents are connecting on 45.1 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three, as the Catamounts rank eighth and ninth in those respective defensive categories.

    Furman enters Saturday afternoon's contest without a player averaging in double figures, and the Paladins have balanced scoring as a team this season. Leading the Paladins coming into this afternoon's contest is Charlie Reddick (9.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG). Reddick is coming off a strong performance in Furman's loss at Appalachian State on Thursday night, posting 14 points.

    Reddick is the team's leading perimeter shooter, and is shooting 43 percent (34-of-79) from three this season. Reddick started out the game quickly against Appalachian State on Thursday, scoring 11 first-half points only to cool off significantly in the second half.

    Joining Reddick in the Furman backcourt this afternoon will be point guard Richard Brown (8.9 PPG, 3.4 APG) and senior wing guard Bobby Austin (7.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG). Brown struggled the last time out for the Paladins, posting only three points in just 10 minutes in the loss at Appalachian State.

    Brown comes into the game leading the Paladins with 54 assists this season and has started all 16 games for the Paladins this season.

    Austin has had his moments this season for Furman, such as his career-high 17-point effort to lead Furman in its only league win to this point, which was a 77-45 win over The Citadel last week. Austin also has nine blocks this season to rank second on the team.  

    Set to start underneath the basket this afternoon for Furman will be Brandon Sebirumbi (9.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG) and Colin Reddick (4.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG). Sebirumbi is coming off a team-leading 18-point performance against Appalachian State in the last outing for the Paladins. Earlier this season,

    Sebirumbi established a new career-high points total, with 20 in a 75-71 road loss to Presbyterian. Sebirumbi is the lone returning starter from last season's 22-11 squad. Reddick has seen his minutes continually diminish, but he might be the best post player Furman has if he can find his game. 

    Coming off the bench, Furman has several solid player that can contribute. In the front court, Bryant Irwin (8.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG), Bryson Barnes (6.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG), Chris Toler (3.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG) and Dominic Early (4.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG) are Jeff Jackson's best front line subs, while Jordan Lloyd (3.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG) and David Brown (2.3 PPG, 0.7 APG) log the most minutes off the bench in the backcourt. Irwin and Early shoot the ball extremely well from the perimeter, while Barnes is one of the team's best athletes and consistently alters shots on the defensive end.

    Like Brown, Lloyd and Brown are still adjusting to their roles playing at the point. All three players were inexperienced playing point guard coming into the season, with Brown the only one of the three that had seen action at the position for the Paladins. However, the trio is getting better with experience.

    As a team, the Paladins enter Saturday's contest averaging 64.3 PPG, while surrendering 64.5 PPG. Furman ranks 11th in the league in scoring offense and third in scoring defense. The Paladins also rank 10th in the league in shooting percentage (40.5%), while ranking 10th in three-point field-goal percentage (32.7%).

    Defensively, Furman ranks sixth in field-goal percentage defense (44.2%) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (32.3%).


Two Important SoCon Tilts Set for Saturday Night

3 of 4

    Georgia Southern (6-9, 4-1 SoCon) at Wofford (9-8, 2-2 SoCon), 7 p.m.


    Georgia Southern heads to Spartanburg for a key Southern Conference clash with Wofford on Saturday evening at the Benjamin-Johnson Arena. The Eagles have dropped their last five games to Wofford, butGSU holds a 21-19 series advantage.

    Four of Georgia Southern's wins have come in conference play this season, including a 58-53 win on Thursday evening against visiting North Division foe Samford. Wofford was able to hang on for a 69-61 win over the Eagles the last time these two met, after holding a 19-point second half lead in the contest. 

    The Eagles are once again among the most athletic teams in the Southern Conference this season, and are being led this season by Eric Ferguson (15.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG) and Ben Drayton III (12.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG). Ferguson was a member of the SoCon's All-Freshman squad last season and has picked up right where he left off last season. 

    Willie Powers (11.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG) and Jelani Hewitt (10.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG) round out the double-figure scorers and give the Eagles one of the most versatile backcourts in the SoCon. Powers scored a season-high 23 points at Auburn back on Dec. 30. Hewitt's 13 points led the Eagles the last time out against Samford. 

    Wofford comes into Saturday's contest off of a tough a 51-48 loss to Chattanooga. The remaining pieces of two-straight Southern Conference tournament titles have proven huge this season, as KevinGiltner (15.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG) and Brad Loesing (14.2 PPG, 4.9 APG) are the top two scorers for the Terriers entering tonight's contest.  

    Loesing is one of the top point guards in the Southern Conference, ranking third in the league in assists-per-game, while Giltner is one of the league's top perimeter shooters, ranking third in the league in three-pointers made, with 40 triples this season.


    UNC Greensboro (3-14, 1-4 SoCon) at The Citadel (4-12, 1-4 SoCon), 7:15 p.m.

    Fresh off its impressive 73-66 win at College of Charleston on Thursday night, while the Bulldogs will look to rebound from a 70-55 home setback to Elon on Saturday night. The Spartans have a chance to garner their first SoCon road sweep in four years when they take the McAlister Field House Floor tonight against the Bulldogs. The Spartans haven't won back-to-back games in Charleston since the 2007-08 season.Saturday night's meeting marks the 21st all-time between the two clubs, with the Spartans holding a 13-7 series edge

    Derrell Armstrong (7.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG) and Trevis Simpson (16.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG) were huge for the Spartans in Thursday night's win over College of Charleston, as the duo combined to post 11 points in the final 5:34 of the contest to help the Spartans spring the upset. 

    The win also gave interim head coach Wes Miller, who took over as head coach when Mike Dementstepped down on Dec. 13, his first win as the head coach and snapped an 11-game UNCG losing streak. Miller, at the ripe age of 28, is the youngest active coach in NCAA Division I college basketball.

    Simpson is the team's leading scorer and is having an All-SoCon season thus far, currently ranking third in the league in scoring average. Simpson is a dynamic scorer and can shoot from the perimeter, as well as create off the dribble. Simpson teams with the experienced Kyle Randall (5.6 PPG, 1.3 RPG) and Korey Van Dussen (6.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG), while sophomore Drew Parker (5.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG) and the JUCO transfer Armstrong have added depth and talent to that experience this season. 

    The Spartans continue to be one of the more athletic teams in the SoCon in the front court, with the return of both Aloysius Henry (4.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG) and Aaron Brackett (6.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG).

    Both Brackett and Henry will have their hands full this evening against The Citadel's talented post presence Mike Groselle (16.6 PPG, 9.8 PPG), who ranks second in the SoCon in scoring, while leading the league in field goal percentage and rebounding coming into tonight's North-South showdown. Groselle is certainly making a strong case for SoCon Player of the Year plaudits at this point in the season. He leads the league with nine double-doubles this season.

    The Bulldogs have struggled to get consistent play from their backcourt this season, but the trio of starters are young, with the only veteran in the starting five in the backcourt being senior CosmoMorabbi (10.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG). He is joined by young guards Ashton Moore (8.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG) andDeVontae Wright (8.6 PPG, 3.0).

    While no one player can completely replace arguably the program's all-time greatest player, in guard Cameron Wells, the Bulldogs have used this trio to manage such a loss and have done so quite nicely. It will take time, but when Moore and Wright get some experience under their respective belts, the Bulldogs should be a pretty good basketball team. 


SoCon Saturday Mini Recaps

4 of 4

    Davidson 83, Appalachian State 79

    BOONE, N.C.--Davidson put forth a late 10-point run to edge out Appalachian State, 83-79, in a key Southern Conference clash on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Convocation Center. The win by the Wildcats snapped ASU's three-game winning streak against the Wildcats. 

    The Mountaineers took a 70-69 lead on an Omar Carter jumper with 4:48 remaining. From there, however, Davidson's D'emon Brooks scored seven unanswered, as a part of Davidson's 10-0 run to take a 79-70 lead.Omar Carter kept the Mountaineers’ hopes alive with a pair of three-pointers in the final two minutes but Nik Cochran made 1-of-2 free throws with three seconds left to seal the victory for Davidson.

    Reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week Jake Cohen led the Wildcats with 21 points, while D'emon Brooks added 19 points to lead the Wildcats, who connected on 52.5% (31-for-59) of their shots from the field in the victory. Chris Czerapowicz chipped in 13 points in the win.

    Appalachian State had four players score in double figures, led by preseason SoCon Player of the Year Omar Carter's 17 points, and he was joined in double figures by Jamaal Trice (15 pts/), Andre Williamson (14 pts.) and Isaac Butts (10 pts.). Butts saw his first action in the ASU lineup since his suspension four games ago. The Mountaineers connected on 47.2% (25-of-53) from the field, including 45.0% (9-for-20) from three-point range.

    The win improved Davidson to 12-4 overall and 6-0 in conference play, while Appalachian State fell to 7-9 overall and 3-3 in league play.   

    Furman 58, Western Carolina 55

    CULLOWHEE, N.C.--Furman's Charlie Reddick went 0-for-11 for the first 39:56 of action on Saturday afternoon at the Ramsey Center against Western Carolina, but all that mattered was the final 4.5 seconds of play, as Reddick broke a 55-55 tie after taking an in-bounds pass from Bobby Austin and connected on a 23-foot triple to give Furman a 58-55 lead with 1.8 seconds remaining and that ultimately proved to be the game-winning shot. 

    Furman was paced by Brandon Sebirumbi for the second-straight game, as he posted 19 points. He posted 13 of his 19 points in the opening half of play, helping Furman to a 32-19 lead. Freshman point guard made the most of his first-career start in place of an injured Richard Brown, as he posted a career-high 10 points to round out the Paladins in double figures in the contest. Furman connected on 43.2% (16-of-37) from the field, and off-set its 21 turnovers by a tenacious defensive effort that was able to limit the Catamounts to 39.5% (17-of-43) from the field. Furman also shot the ball well from the charity stripe, converting on 23-of-31 opportunities (74.2%).

    Western Carolina was led in the contest by Trey Sumler's 18 points, while leading scorer Harouna Mutombo added 11 before fouling out. The Catamounts never held a lead in the contest. 

    The win snapped a four-game losing streak at the Liston B. Ramsey Center for the Paladins, and also snapped a five-game skid overall to the Catamounts. With the win, the Paladins snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 8-9 overall, while increasing their conference mark to 2-4.  Western Carolina falls to 8-10 overall and 3-3 in Southern Conference play. The Catamounts have now lost three of their last four games, including two-straight.